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Jun 1, 2020 by |

California and Marin County Annuity and Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Understanding Annuity Death Benefit Riders


What Are Annuity Riders?

The Death Benefit Rider

Riders are endorsements added to annuity contracts sold to enhance the benefits payable under those contracts. Our litigators recommend avoiding annuities entirely and especially the added riders agents sell to drive up premiums with little or no benefit to you. Income riders and death benefit riders cost extra from day one under a policy and the reality is the added benefits may never help you or your heirs. If you or a loved one is over 60 and live in California and has lost money due to surrender charges, rider fees, or other fees associated with an annuity, call us today at (415) 441-8669 and we can review your contract terms for free.
Agents sell death benefit riders as a “guarantee” to your heirs a return of your annuity premium (or more) upon your death. You’ll pay extra for this protection but the agent may try and convince you the cost is worth it. Our litigators have seen too many annuities and additional features like death benefits disappoint policyholders, cost more and more, and erode returns on your hard-earned money.

What’s Wrong with Death Benefit Riders?

Death benefit riders go by a variety of names: Enhanced Death Benefit Rider, Accumulator Rider, “Greater Of” Death Benefit, Guaranteed Death Benefit, Return of Premium Rider, and HAV Rider (Highest Contract Anniversary). Whatever the brand name, the fees add up fast and the benefit will likely never be realized by your heirs. On an annuity offering say a 3% return you might lose half your return when you accept the coverage. Your death benefit will be lost when you annuitize, make a withdrawal, cancel, or surrender the contract. You will not be refunded the years of fees you paid, and the “benefit” to your heirs will disappear. Your surrender will incur penalties and a likely tax liability further diminishing your return on investment.

Annuities and life insurance produce large sales commissions for brokers but are often inappropriate products for consumers, especially seniors. Leading providers and distributors of life insurance and fixed, variable and fixed indexed deferred annuities in California, including Voya, are listed below. We are not in any way suggesting that any of these carriers or distributors has done anything wrong. Rather, the list is provided solely as a reference for our readers.

AIG/American General Life Insurance Company
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company
American General Life Insurance Company/AIG
American International Group, Inc. (AIG)
American National Life Insurance Company
Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company
Athene Annuity and Life Company
Athene USA
Aviva Life Insurance Company
AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company/AXA US
AXA Advisors, LLC
Brighthouse Financial, Inc./MetLife
EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company
Genworth Financial, Inc.
Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company
Genworth Life Insurance Company
Guggenheim Partners, LLC
Guggenheim Partners/Security Benefit Life Insurance Company
ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company
Jackson National Life Insurance Company
John Hancock Life Insurance Company
Lincoln Benefit Life Company
Lincoln Financial Group
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company/Brighthouse Financial, Inc.
Minnesota Life Insurance Company
Nationwide Investor Services Corporation (NISC)
Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company
Nationwide Life Insurance Company
New York Life Insurance Company
Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company
Pacific Life & Annuity Company
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Security Benefit Corporation
Security Benefit Group, Inc.
Security Benefit Life Insurance Company/Guggenheim Partners
Security Investors, LLC
Security of Denver Life Insurance Company/Voya
Transamerica Life Insurance Company
Voya Financial Advisors
Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company
World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Inc.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one is over 60 and lives in California and has lost money due to death benefit or income riders, surrender charges, or other fees associated with an annuity in Marin County or elsewhere in California, contact California financial elder abuse and annuity attorney Ingrid M. Evans and the other attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=””></a>. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through arbitration, jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, nursing home abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.

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